Upcoming: Iran’s Student Day (16 Azar/Dec 7)

Nov 20, 20100 comments

BackgroundIssues to Highlight DemandsDay’s ActionsSupport the DayGet Involved

Background In honor of December 7th, 2010, Iran’s Students’ Day, leading Iranian student activists, some of whom are recently out of Iran, are organizing a day of action to take place on university campuses and in cities around the world, as well as online using internet-based advocacy. United4Iran (U4I) is honored to support the student activists who are spearheading this year’s Iran Students’ Day (16 Azar). To keep up-to-date on the latest developments for students in Iran, please visit DaneshjooNews.com. The day’s objective is to increase awareness regarding the situation of Iranian students, to encourage the global community to act, and to show solidarity with Iran’s students. As of 11/10/10, the International Campaign For Human Rights in Iran, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the Boroumand Foundation are sponsoring the event. We are reaching out to other prominent human rights organizations as well. Areas to Highlight The following three key areas will be highlighted for student’s days as a means to pressure the IRI to adhere to its rights obligations through grassroots efforts and the urging of world leaders to call for the same.

1. The systematic violations of the right to education, including

  • Depriving religious & ethnic minorities and political & human rights activists the right to education, including members of the Baha’i communities;
  • Banning student activists from using facilities and services offered by the University such as student loans, and cheap food and housing as a means to pressure students financially;
  • Suspending or expelling students from school as a means to pressure and punish;
  • Further depriving students from advancing to graduate school for political or human rights activities (often known as “starred students”); and
  • Demoting, forcing into retirement, and/or not renewing the contracts of professors as a means to pressure and silence their criticisms, expressions of dissatisfaction, or opposition to the current system.

2. The continuous infringements of academic rights and freedoms, including

  • Eliminating humanities and social sciences programs from the university curricula;
  • A lack of university administrations independence from the government; and
  • Neglecting other inherent freedoms, particularly the students’ rights to expression and assembly.

3. The IRI’s poor prison conditions and inadequate medical care for students and prisoners of conscience, including

  • Refusing to comply with its obligations under Article 10 of the ICCPR;
  • Targeting prisoners by forcing them to endure overcrowding, disease, unsanitary conditions, malnutrition, spoiled food, dirty bedding, and arbitrarily restricted access to medical care; and
  • Refusing to allow a temporary release or medical leave in order to seek proper medical or specialist treatment outside of prison.

The Day’s Demands The IRI must immediately and unconditionally 1. Release all students and prisoners of conscience and respect their right to assembly and expression; 2. Halt the systematic violation of the students’ right to education by halting its practice of education deprivation due to minority status or human rights activities; 3. Improve prison conditions, guarantee access to adequate medical care, and immediately stop the practice of restricting medical care as a means to pressure and punish students and prisoners of conscience; and 4. Respect the right to academic freedoms by halting the “education redevelopment” plan to eliminate humanities and social sciences from curricula and guarantee university administrations adequate, if not full, independence from the government.

Actions for the day include

1. Direct-mail postcards, letter-writing, and e-letter campaigns addressed to various non-Iranian and Iranian government officials and to student prisoners meant to highlight the current plight of Iran’s students. The letter-writing campaign would be in collaboration with Amnesty International USA.

2. Resolutions of Support passed by university student unions and/or letters of support signed by university officials.

3. Videos made by local and student groups mean to a) express solidarity and b) highlight their day’s actions with the aim of reaching and speaking to students inside Iran. Also, two ten-minute videos will be produced by student activists to be shown at various events and to be disseminated online.

4. Media activities will be carried out globally and by local and campus groups to help raise awareness. Fliers will be designed to be disseminated on campuses as well.

5. University campus and/or city events to include setting up campaign tables and organizing rallies, panels, and discussions that will incorporate the above mentioned activities.

Supporting the Day

  • Donate! All donations for the next 2 weeks will be dedicated to this amazing effort undertaken by the student activists recently out of Iran. The donations will help cover the costs associated with online advocacy tools, web hosting and security, the logistical costs (students’ travel, equipment, permitting etc.) of organizing a panel in Paris to allow these student activists a platform to share their experiences.  Please consider helping make this student panel and the entire day a reality by making a donation. With less than a month left before the panel, campaigns, and events, your support and generosity is immensely appreciated.


  • Stay Updated & Share the Students’ Day Information. Recommend this post on Facebook, retweet Students’ Day information on Twitter, and forward all e-blasts to your networks! If you aren’t signed up to receive the bi-monthly U4I e-blast, click here to sign-up. Watch this page for further updates as well!
  • Get Involved. If you or your organization is interested in organizing an action or event for Students’ Day, or wants to join the day in any way, please send an e-mail to info@united4iran.org.